Television Stereotypes

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Television portrayals of groups and stereotypes.

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<ul><li> 1. Overview Portrayals on television construct reality Television often presents stereotypical images. Stereotype is a generalization about a person or group of people. In the absence of real experience, television's stereotypical representations may be all we know about some people or groups of people. </li> <li> 2. Common Stereotypes on Television Sex (women and men, boys and girls) Age (old people, young people, teenagers) Jobs (teacher, model, truck driver, doctor, lawyer) Culture (Arab, French, Irish, Italian) Race (black, white, Asian, Hispanic) Looks (beautiful, ugly, 'nerdy') Position in a family (mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather) </li> <li> 3. Presentations of Women (A) Frequency of appearance on TV 1. There are twice as many men as women in television prime time dramas. 2. There are 3-4 times as many men as women in children's TV programs and cartoons. 3. Music videos on TV show twice as many men as women. </li> <li> 4. Presentations of Women (cont.) 4. A substantial minority of TV news anchors and weathercasters are now women, although very few sportcasters are. 5. Only 10% of those interviewed on news shows are women. 6. Only in soap operas are women well represented in numbers and in professional career roles. </li> <li> 5. Presentation of Women (cont.) (B) Presentations of Women's Roles on TV 1. Physical Appearance: women on TV are usually young and beautiful (usually under 30) and must fight aging. Dove video 1 Dove video 2 The ideal portrayal of feminine beauty, especially in advertising is very unusual body type, namely very tall, very thin, and small-hipped the model body-type 2. Women are usually portrayed in nonprofessional roles. </li> <li> 6. Presentation of Women (cont.) 3. Breast-feeding Ads, and sometimes photos in feature magazines stories, show women breast-feeding in very revealing poses, when in fact an infant can be nursed in public quite discreetly. </li> <li> 7. Presentation of Women (cont.) 4. Women are also usually seen as: a. dependent on men, needing protection b. often using their sex to manipulate men and get what they want c. often the victims of violence--or the subtle message is sent that women are really "asking for it" as in Luke and Laura/General Hospital d. not seen making important decisions e. current trends to undo the old stereotypes emphasize the new "superwoman" who can handle a career, be a sexy wife, and a do-it-all mom. </li> <li> 8. Portayals of Men on TV 1. More often employed in high-status jobs and careers. 2. More dominant, violent, powerful than women. They are professionally competent but bunglers when it comes to household and parenting skills. 3. Men drive, drink and smoke more, engage more in athletic activities. 4. Men are emotionless. </li> <li> 9. Portayals of Men on TV (cont.) 5. Men are young, attractive, but appear obsessed with their upper-body physiques and the need for a full head of hair. </li> <li> 10. Portrayals of Minority Groups 4 stages: 1. Nonrecognition 2. Ridicule 3. Regulation (protectors, police, firemen) 4. Respect (full range of roles as majority) </li> <li> 11. Older Americans/Senior Citizens 1. Very few of central characters on TV are over 65. 2. 62-70% of older Americans in TV are men (but only 40% of population over 65 = men). 3. Characters often treated with disrespect. 4. Physically and mentally weak, feeble, in poor health. </li> <li> 12. Older Americans/Senior Citizens (cont.) 5. Either sexless or dirty old men 6. Doing trivial things--bingo, sitting in rockers 7. Physically unattractive, wearing dowdy clothing 6. Complaining and ill-humored </li> <li> 13. African Americans 12% of US population in the last Census (2000) Early days of TV, African Americans were largely unseen. Movie roles often ridiculed them or showed them as comedic characters. With the civil rights movement of the 1960s, television began to provide more even-handed presentations of African Americans, and they appeared in many starring roles in prime time sitcoms, although they were still often shown as buffoons. The Cosby Show was a big break-through for acceptance of African American programming success. </li> <li> 14. African Americans (cont.) Now African Americans actually make up a larger percentage of prime time roles (17%) than they do the population (12.3%). News coverage on local stations still retains some stereotypical images and often shows African Americans as perpetrators of violence and criminal acts at a disproportionate rate to reality. </li> <li> 15. Latino Presentations on TV Make up 12.5% of population (in 2000 Census) but only 2 to 4% of prime time roles. Despite great diversity of Hispanic traditions and heritages, Latino characters are often stereotyped as: a. greasy dirty Mexican bandits (in Westerns) b. Latino women have been stereotyped as harlots, sex-obsessed c. buffoons (Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy) On TV, most Latin characters are male, criminals or law enforcement officers. </li> <li> 16. Native Americans Presentations 1% of US population Common stereotypes: Bloodthirsty, savages of the American Western Wise men Now virtually invisible Video </li> <li> 17. Native Americans Presentations Native American ethnicity: name of schools and professional sports teams that have nothing to do with their heritage Name and themes for U.S. sports teams: </li> <li> 18. Asian American Presentations Very few roles on TV Stereotyped in movies as sinister villains, often running Chinese laundries or restaurants Now more positively portrayed than most other minorities in U.S. TV </li> <li> 19. Arab and Arab Americans Often stereotyped as terrorists, oil sheiks, sexual perverts involved in slavery. Identification with Islamic religion which is portrayed as cruel and vicious. No balanced portrayals of good things about Islamic culture and history. </li> <li> 20. Other groups often stereotyped: 1. Those with physical disabilities. 2. Those with psychological disorders. 3. Gay and Lesbian individuals Video 4. Occupations: farmers and rural life lawyers police officers doctors, particularly psychiatrists and psychologists college students (drinking beer and partying, spring break at the beach) </li> </ul>